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the fiscal cliff or the debt limit, turns out an inability to act could earn the congress a dubious distinction. the most unproductive in u.s. history. a review by the huffington post shows 219 bills have been passed this session, compare that to 383 bills passed by the previous congress and 460 by the group before that. currently, the 104th congress holds the title of least productive and to avoid that milestone, the current congress needs to send nearly 100 bills to president obama's desk in the next few days. >> that lack of productivity isn't hurting paychecks on capitol hill. even as tax hikes and an unend to unemployment benefits for 2 million people could be on the way because of the fiscal cliff. congress, it's about to get a raise. it's part of an executive order that president obama issued which ends a pay freeze for federal workers. so salaries will go up by .5% after march 27th. that's an extra $900 before taxes. currently members of congress make $174,000 a year except for leaders who make a little more. the last time lawmakers got a pay raise was in 2009. >>> this morn
is that going to do to the fiscal cliff negotiations? >> right, there are a couple deadli deadlines actually coming up. january 2nd is the last day of the current congress. any bill that's been submitted, especially the bills that have been passed, the deal with the fiscal cliff, those bills would be worthless. they would go into paper and everything would have to start from scratch. the new congress would have to start a bill and start the process from the beginning. now there are some tricks that congress has to try to speed things up when it wants to. so to some degree, it's not that big of a deal. if there was a deal in the offing, january 3rd, enough votes for it, they could get around the hurdles. but i'm glad you brought up the deadlines because another one is tomorrow. unemployment benefits run out tomorrow for 1 million people. not true. the unemployment portion of the fiscal cliff actually hits us tomorrow. and that's when 1 million people are estimated to see unemployment benefits run out. and tomorrow is also the day that the house will return. i know we said that democrats shame
the fiscal cliff. >> that's the point i wanted to raise with you. you obviously have followed congress. you know how all this inside trading works, so to speak. does it feel like the wheels are coming off that we are now off the script, that this is totally in territory we had not anticipated we would be at? >> absolutely. let's help folks appreciate how we got here. this suspect just about philosophical or ideological divisions, this is a crisis of self-government now, had divided government before but never quite this dysfunctional it is because of polarization, about reduction of swing districts, it's about the impact of partisan media creating thises against them mentality you told all during 2012, martin, the election was too contentious a time to get anything done for the american people, we would wait until the lame duck session of congress, wait until the election and legislators would be liberate and free to work across ate yell and solve these serious problems. the lame duck session has been here for weeks now and you nothing has the gotten down. 36 hours away from the end of the
to avoid the fiscal cliff. both houses of congress are meeting in a rather sunday session. the senate convenes aat 1:00 eastern and the house at 2:00. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen with the look at the chances for a deal and what's on the table. >> here in washington there is still hope a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday the president was at work here in the white house, but all eyes were on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the baseline for the president, any bipartisan bill has to extend unemployment insurance that would affect some 2 million americans, and increase taxes for the highest income earners. negotiators can still work out exactly where that tax increase would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. in case those discussions break down, the president has asked democratic leader harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or mo
go over the fiscal cliff tomorrow night, congress could still pass a bill in a couple weeks. there's no guarantee they'll be able to come to an agreement quickly. ryan lizza is a correspondent for the new yorker. it's good to see you during the night. good to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> this uncertainty that americans are living with right now, do you think a deal can be reached by tomorrow? >> you know, i don't know. it's -- right now, as cnn's been reporting, it's up to mitch mcconnell and joe biden. those apparently are the two men where the entire negotiations have moved to. senator harry reid, who runs the senate, left tonight and told reporters on the way out, if you want to know if there's a deal, talk to biden and mcconnell. they have a history of reaching agreements, in the white house, biden is known as the mcconnell whisperer, and he got that reputation a couple years ago, when he was able to forge a budget agreement in 2010. maybe -- maybe there will be a breakthrough, but there are a lot of liberals and a lot of conservatives who will argue that no deal is bet
the fiscal cliff. negotiations have stalled. when congress meets this morning, can they get a hail mary deal? >> if we go over the cliff, you're going to feel it right away. what happens to your paycheck and when just ahead. >> good morning. i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm christine romans. >> and i'm sanjay gupta. good morning. soledad is off. it's monday, december 31st, 2012. >>> our starting point this morning, hillary clinton expected to ring in the new year from a hospital bed. secretary of state was admitted to a new york city hospital because of a blood clot. it was discovered while doctors were performing a follow-up exam they say was related to her concussion. the state department says clinton suffered that concussion earlier this month. the location of the clot has not yet been disclosed to us. doctors are closely monitoring mrs. clinton. cnn's jill dougherty is live in our washington bureau. jill, you and i have been talking closely this morning, but have you learned any more about her condition or anything from her doctors? >> reporter: no, we've been asking, but so far no updates. th
want to tell congress about the fiscal cliff? we'll have your video messages. >>> the woman accused of pushing a man in front of a subway is now being charged with a hate crime. now she's saying why she did it. >>> wow, a plane crash caught on tape, the story. hind this dash cam video of an exact moment a jet slammed into an overpass. >>> it's sunday, december 30th, good morning, i'm allisison kos. randi kaye is off today. we're going to start this morning in washington where all eyes on capitol hill as lawmakers try to work out on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. the deadline is less than 48 hours away and as to whether they can get it done, the president says he's hopeful. >> i'm modestly ll lly optimis an agreement can be achieved. let's make sure that middle class families and the world economy aren't adversely impacted because people can't do their jobs. >> both houses of congress are meeting in a rare sunday session. the house an hour later at 2:00. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin now with the look at a chance for a deal and what's on the table. >> alison,
the break, not just the fiscal cliff, other big issues congress has to deal with, including a debt ceiling in a matter of weeks, if we can't get past the cliff, i guess what i'm going to ask you, ron is how much hope do we have that congress can tackle these other huge issues? >> well, look, i think that's the big story here. the context wit fiscal cliff and all of this has to be seen. it is whether red america and blue america are following mediate their differences and find reasonable compromises to move forward. we know democrats have won the popular vote five of the last six times for the presidency. they have kind of a structural advantage, i believe, and demographic change. we know republicans have an advantage in the house the way the population distributed. we know for at least the next two years, probably the next four years, going to have divide government. none of us are going away and really, you know, watching the inability to make this deal is ominous the next two years because it suggests that neither side, but i think probably more of the republicans, but neither side entir
to unemployment benefits for two million people could be on the way because of the fiscal cliff, congress, though, hey, about to get a raise. part of an executive order that president obama issued which ends a pay freeze for federal workers. their salaries, yeah, they'll if up by half a percent after march 27. that's an extra $900 before taxes. currently members of congress make $174,000 a year except for leaders who make a little more. the last time there was a pay raise was 2009. >>> there is one thing the senate has agreed on, getting aid to victims of superstorm sandy. by a 61-33 vote the chamber passed a measure offering $60 billion in help. it heads to the house which must approve the bill by thursday or else the process to consider the money has to start all over again. at least 113 people were killed when superstorm sandy hit in late october. the governors of new york and new jersey, the hardest hit states, have estimated damages at more than $78 billion. >>> and turning to weather. even though winter is just over a week old, millions of americans probably can't wait for spring to arrive.
. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate democratic leaders is trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill can pass congress at the 11th hour. >> there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. let's get that done. >> reporter: but to get that done, democrats first would likely need nearly ten senate republicans to cross party lines and vote to effectively increase taxes on the top 2% of americans. some conservatives be grudgingly now say they're willing to do that. >> if we get done to twn to thed that's the only choice, i would support that. but i wish we would have a comprehensive bill that dealt with spending you can entitlements and taxes and you would together. >> reporter: the senate returns to work thursday, but democratic sources say their best realistic chance of getting gop votes is when the pressure will really be on, at or close to december 31
is expected back in washington later this week, just before the fiscal cliff deadline. >>> congress also home for the holidays and that means there's not a lot going on with the fiscal cliff negotiations. if no deal is reached in one week, the tax cuts enacted under president bush will expire and 1.2 trillion in spending cuts will automatically go into effect. if we do go over the fiscal cliff, how will it affect you from your paycheck to your retirement accounts? we're going to give you all the tips you need to protect yourself. here to do that this morning is ry ryan mac, president of opt middle school management. >> kudos for being able to pronounce that honolulu merry christmas saying. >> i don't think i can do it again. ahah! let's start with your paycheck as it applies to the fiscal cliff. if we go off the fiscal live how will mooirn and everybody's paycheck be affected? the majority of the paycheck won't be afeektded until 2014 when people file for 2013 stackses. there are certain things that are impacted right away like the payroll tax cut. for individuals earning about $50,000 a year
's watching to see if congress reaches a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. and within the last hour, the president said a deal is, quote, within sight and that he himself is willing to make hard choices to avoid $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax hikes. >> i'm willing to reduce our government's medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the costs of healtcare in this country. that's something we all should agree on. we want to make sure that medicare is there for future generations. but the current trajectory of health care costs is going up so high, we have got to find ways to make sure that it is sustainable. but, that kind of reform has to go hand and hand with doing some more work to reform our tax coat so that wealthy individuals, the biggest corporations, can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most of the folks standing up here. aren't available to most americans. so there is still more work to be done in the tax code to make it fair, even as we're also looking at how we can strengthen something like medicare. now, if republica
to the wire for the fiscal cliff. letsz than 48 hours for washington to make a deal. both houses of congress are meeting today in rare sunday sessions. the senate is convening at 1:00. the house an hour later at 2:00. the earliest we could see a vote is 6:30 p.m. eastern time. you can catch that live coverage of it right here on cnn. >>> to massachusetts now where a
and for congress to let the country go over the fiscal cliff. would your party have more leverage if we went over the cliff? >> i think both leader pelosi and i said going over the cliff ought not to be an option. it will be an indication of failure of the congress to work as it should. this has been the least effective, most confrontational congress in which i have served. i came here in 1981. so i think going over the cliff is not our preferred choice at all. we think we need to get to a compromise, which as i said, will procollude taxes from going up on middle income americans, provide for the unemployment insurance. i they we also provide for the reimbursement of doctors giving services to medicare patients. butt fact of the matter is it's been very difficult to reach compromise. i think the president of the united states and is now through vice president biden trying to reach a compromise. a compromise by its very definition means that neither side gets exactly what it wants. the difficulty from the house of representatives last week the republicans indicate d that the wouldn't even be for a
as a deadlocked congress reconvenes days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. you're just six days from feeling this. now, first hit is coming on january 1st when your take home pay will drop by 2% because of a scheduled hike in the social security payroll tax. that's just the start. income taxes are set to climb too. and you'll notice that when employer gets to around the adjusted withholding, the government spending cuts, those are also scheduled for january 1st and bound to slow the economy and some argue they'll weaken the military. congress has seen this coming, but an effort to limit the damage failed last week. republican house speaker john boehner could not persuade enough members of his party to let tax rates rise on incomes over a million dollars while sparing everyone else. dana bash is our senior congressional correspondent. dana, this time tomorrow, the president is supposed to be back, having cut his trip to hawaii short, the first lady, the girls are staying in hawaii. the senate is supposed to convene, but not necessarily the house. what is going to happen? >> reporter: well, we
're going over the cliff. it's hard to tell. the expectation, even if we go over the fiscal cliff. right now, congress is still looking at trying to resolve this here in the next few days. so it's not as if we go over the cliff and stay there. there would be time to resolve the issue. that being said, we saw a whirlwind of negotiating on capitol hill. and right now, after things sort of didn't work out between mitch mcconnle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. keeping harry reid abreast of what's going on and keeping president obama abreast of what's going on. we heard from senator reid yesterday that they are very far apart. not just talking on the threshold, initially president obama said $250 mi,000. there is talk to bumping that to $400,000. republicans want to know how we pay for it. there are farm subsidies, the doc fix. and spending cuts. so there is a lot to be reso
. but if congress does not work out a fiscal cliff deal, those workers will not notice much of a difference in paychecks because of higher taxes. >>> and milk might be good for your bones soon mighting bad for your bank account. congress has until tomorrow to vote on a mutual agreement to extend the farm bill by one year, or you could see milk prices double. it's not even certain the vote is going to happen yet, but people already calling the situation the dairy cliff. the secretary of agriculture tom vilsack issuing a dire warning about all dairy product prices, and he explains why this is happening. >> well, if you like anything made with milk, you're going to be impacted by the fact that there's no farm bill. because if there is not an extension of the existing bill or a new bill, basically on january 1st or shortly thereafter, permanent agricultural law goes back into place, 1949 law, which basically means the federal government will go back in the business of strongly supporting the dairy industry by raising the price support, if you will, or support for dairy products to $38 a hundred
of congress meeting with the president trying to avert a fiscal cliff. as soon as we get word, you'll be the first to know. >>> no strike for at least a month for workers at ports on the east and gulf coasts. it would be a big deal for the nation's economy if the international longshoreman's association does strike. the contract was due to expire a minute after midnight sunday, but good news, good news today as both parties agree to a partial deal to keep talking. they were able to work out a major sticking point that extends the contract for a month. so stay tuned. >>> more water is drastically needed in the mississippi river. the need is so dire, barge traffic may shut down as early as next week. that means thousands of shippers may lose their jobs. water levels and ice forming in the river right now makes it difficult for the ships to pass through. ships carry about $7 billion in goods on the river in december and in january. that's according to bloomberg report. i want to bring in chad myers now. how will the current weather situation play into this? will the river get the help
-seltzer on facebook. >>> fiscal cliff, not the only deadline pressing on congress today. a five-year farm subsidies bill that expired in september was never renewed. senate members did develop an extension designed to prevent some food prices from going through the roof in january. the secretary of agriculture tells cnn lack of a farm bill could hit you right in the refrigerator. >> well, if you like anything made with milk, you're going to be impacted by the fact that there's no farm bill. because if there's not an extension of existing bill or a new bill basically on january 1st or shortly thereafter, permanent agriculture law goes back into place, 1949 law, which basically means the government, the federal government, will go back in the business of strongly supporting the dairy industry by raising the price support or support for dairy products to $38 a hundred weight which is almost double the price of milk today. >> if the house decides to take up the bill today, the full congress could vote on it tonight. >>> president barack obama said he was optimistic that a deal on the fiscal cliff could
to about $7 a gallon. 7 bucks a gallon. with congress' attention on the fiscal cliff, could take a few weeks to address this. might want to stock up on milk while the prices are still lower this week. >>> a winter storm could become a big problem for winter travelers. what you need to know before heading out this christmas eve, next. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit today. on any new volkswagen. progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no. are you them? i'm me. but those rates are for... them. so them are here. yes! you want to run through it again? no, i'm good. yo
over the fiscal cliff? earlier i spoke with brianna keeler, i asked her what might happen as the holiday week rolls on? >> well, there's one sort of last ditch effort possibility here, don, and that is when the senate reconvenes on the 27th, it's possible that either they could try to pass something and sort of force it on the house or it's possible that they could take a bill that they've already passed back in july with the threshold of those tax hikes being at the $250,000 level. and that they could kind of say to the house, now the ball is in your court, you have to deal with this, it's still very much a possibility, don, that this doesn't work out, that we go over the fiscal cliff, and that was reflected today on the sunday shows from both democrats and republicans, take a listen. >> passing plan b the other night would not have changed the outcome, we're going to go over the cliff before, we're going to go over the cliff now. you cannot negotiate with someone that doesn't want to negotiate. >> in the aftermath of the house republicans rejecting speaker boehn boehner'
for us to go over the fiscal cliff and then taxes will rise, right, but then congress will reconvene on january 3rd and vote to cut taxes. is that appliable solution in your mind? >> it kind of it, pretty much what i feel will happen. they have a little bit of wiggle room. the majority of this is not going to be felt until 2014 for the majority of the income tax rise so that causes congress to force them to make a deal knowing that we actually are operating under a higher tax rate right now, even though americans won't feel it, so it's almost like an additional leverage for those who actually want to make a deal and get something done. i just want somebody, like starbucks, we all need to come together. >> and quit kicking the can down the road, darn it. >> exactly. >> ryan thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you. >> ryan has been with us all week tackling the fiscal effects on your pocketbook. tomorrow, what the fiscal cliff means for your retirement. >>> from the strange case of the technology pioneer john mcafee on the run to so many tragic shootings, we have the top
saying the differences in the u.s. congress over the fiscal cliff could be settled if. that's what he's really saying in this press conference in damascus. the elements are there under plan world powers agreed to back in jeune. but, of course, getting agreement if there fr. the assad side and the rebels the and the government, that's a tall order. he's an experienced negotiator. there seems to be some momentum with a flurry of talks and shuttle-type dip ploemmy but he still said and lamented syria is deteriorating rapidly. and as he said there's no u.s./russian plan. there may be discussions on options. can will there a transitional government formed and then elections but we're still not at that stage yet, suzanne. >> do we think he's bringing anything to the table that kofi annan did not who failed in brings these sides together? >> yes. and in failed, it may be a matter of timing. certainly the matter of violence has an eastbound. 40,000 report lid dead. brahimi has not had that success either but he's plugging away. he's been the man in the field from the u.n. from haiti to yemen.
used by spengler. >>> and here's what's trending online. forget about that fiscal cliff. 9 nation is also facing a dairy cliff. there is a deadline looming for congress that would impact every single dairy farm in this country. and the price you pay for milk if congress doesn't approve an extension to the farm bill by january 1st, prices could eventually jump to 8 or $9 a gallon. >>> and a new look for a major league baseball team. check out the snazzy new hat design for the atlanta braves. >>> cnn "newsroom" continues at the top of the hour, but first dr. sanjay gupta's investigation reveals startling truths about prescription drug abuse in the u.s. why it's much easier than you think to take that deadly dose. "dr. sanjay gupta md" starts right now. [ sirens ] >> this is a drug overdose call. every 19 minutes in the united states, someone dies of an accidental overdose. >> this is crazy. not a single solitary one of these people has to die. >> we're used to thinking of it starting here, looking like this. but something happened in this country. and now increasingly, it starts her
in washington that will impact every american family. the fiscal cliff is here. and we all go over it in two days. unless the president and congress are able to come up with some kind of budget deal. so let's bring in brian monroe. the editor of cnn and he's joining us from san antonio, texas. brian, no one wants their taxes to go up. we know come tuesday, everyone who gets a paycheck will get less money in it unless a deal is reached. i know you've been talking to people and getting the pulse of the country, what are they saying to you? >> you know, martin, you're right, gallup did a recent poll taking a look at this. let's take a look. the recent poll shows that 68% of americans are saying lawmakers are should compromise in order to reach this fiscal cliff solution. only 22% think those lawmakers need to stick to their guns and not budge. either on tax increases or spending cuts. >> so we know that gridlock has been a big problem and we're seeing more, it appears on this issue. in the end could this result in who has the upper hand in public support? >> that's the game they're
from now, the u.s. will plunge over the fiscal cliff. it may not be long, but it will be nerve-racking for millions. president obama said a deal was in sight, but he slammed congress for stalling and for failing to reach a broader agreement. sources say the senate will try to vote tonight. we're not going to have a house vote tonight because the house has already adjourned until tomorrow, noon eastern time, which means we will not be able to solve this problem fully tonight if it gets solved at all. that's still not entirely clear. let's go to jessica yellin. if you've been watching over the last several hours, you get conflicting information. is there a deal or not? >> the white house is optimistic there will be a deal. republicans in the senate are confident there will be a deal. senate democrats are still holding out for more changes in this deal. and so right now, there's still that last haggling over certain sticking points that democrats want to see in this negotiation. and it's one of the reasons we understand that vice president biden is set to go up there. now, that's
open after the fiscal cliff and i'll throw a second number, one week until the new congress begins, so they are hard up against some big deadlines. >> the market implication is important because markets have done very, very well this year, lisa, and there's some suggestion if congress doesn't get it together before the new year, markets may force them to do so. we'll be talking more about that later in the show. lisa, thanks so much. we'll check in with you later. >>> piling on the concerns, treasury secretary tim geithner has warned congress hat u.s. will reach its debt ceiling on monday. that is when the government reaches its legal borrowing limit. now, this could pose a bigger threat to the nation's credit rating than the fiscal cliff. treasury can keep the government operating for a few weeks using emergency measures, but congress needs to act on this too to avoid a full-blown debt crisis. alina cho. joins us with the ret of the top stories. >>> former president george h.w. bush remains in intensive care in a houston hospital with an elevated fever. he is on a liquid diet an his c
that looming fiscal cliff. >>> and at 70 years old he is out to do something few have ever done. he is doing it while battling cancer. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. [ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal co [ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. now through january 2nd, no monthly payments until spring for qualified buyers. get the silverado for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. and this is the nokia lumia 920 from at&t. it's
us. >> thank you. >> congress had well over a year to tackle this fiscal cliff. instead, we've come down now to the final eight hours before our nation takes a severe hit potentially to the economy. tyeah, its the galaxy note great. you can do two things at the same time. you can watch videos and text. or you could watch the earnings report and take notes, like we're supposed to. so... can i get it? yeah. okay either of you put together the earnings report yet? yes, me totally. what? why don't you tackle the next quarter. you eat yet? polynesian? pu pu platter? yup! keep up the good work. i will keep up the good work. do more with the new samsung galaxy note ii. [ dog barking ] ♪ [ female announcer ] life is full of little tests, but your basic paper towel can handle them. especially if that towel is bounty basic. the towel that's durable, and scrubbable. in this lab demo, bounty basic is stronger than the leading bargain brand. everyday life? bring it with bounty basic. the strong but affordable picker-upper... now costs even less. >>> we're following the breaking news. the
. >> they are trying to find a last minute compromise to keep us from going over the fiscal cliff, respect senator olympia snowe is saying that it's a bigger sign of a bigger crisis. >> what is deeply troubling is you cannot get congress and the president to reach any agreement on anything. >> the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations in a few minutes. a 31-year-old woman has been charged with second degree murder as a hate crime in connection with a subway death in new york city. they identified the woman as erica ericamenendez in new york. the victim was a store owner and graphic designer. witnesses described a womani pacing the platform and talking to herself before pushing the victim on the tracks as a train entered the stadium. the video shows a woman running from the scene. a airliner smashed into a highway in russia. four of the crew were killed, no passengers were on board and no one on the highway was injured. it was arriving when it over shot the run way. a lot of celebrating early this morning in portland, maine, the first same sex couple said i do under a new state law that took effe
about here. the fiscal cliff was a device that the president and the congress agreed to in 2011 to try to put more pressure on themselves to do what they couldn't do then, which was reach a big deal on the deficit. it's a noose of their own construction. and here we are, we're kind of defining dysfunction down. not going over the cliff is a pretty modest achievement that they may not be able to reach, almost completely gone right now is the discussion of doing what it was supposed to do in the first place, reaching a long-term deal. >> this is going to be a tiny deal -- >> it's avoiding the worst, rather than getting anywhere near what would be the best. >> there's also a process here. it's a great political forum and presidents have said, just vote on it. give everybody a chance to vote. that's not even quite that clear in the senate that's going to be possible. >> no. it hasn't really been possible -- increasingly less possible since the 1980s. the routine use of the filibuster, once the filibuster was reserved for the biggest disputes. things like the civil rights fights of the 1960
." just eight days left before we go off the fiscal cliff. very quiet in washington because congress and the president, they're on vacation. want to bring in our guest, grover norquist. he's the president of americans for tax reform. 213 congressmen and 39 senators have signed his pledge, vowing not to raise taxes. grover, thank you for joining us, especially on this holiday christmas eve. appreciate it. >> good to be with you. >> first i want to play for you something that republican senator johnny isaacson of georgia said yesterday about what he might do when it comes to taxes. >> no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on anybody. i'm not in the majority of the united states senate, and he's the president of the united states. if we get down to the end of this year and the only choice we have is to save taxes going up on the middle class, then i would support that. >> grover, as you know, johnny isakson is not exactly a moderate. he's saying he would support tax increases for everybody below the middle class effectively, if six, seven, eight, de
. his holiday vacation so he could deal with the looming fiscal cliff. all eyes are on that now and everyone wondering whether congress will be able to reach a deal by january 1st. if not, spending cuts and tax hikes for every american will go into effect and we're watching that story very, very closely. as i mentioned, just five days left before the new year. but wait, before they bring out the champagne and confetti on the 31st, folks in washington need to start making big decisions regarding that fiscal cliff. here's what will happen if no deal is reached. the economy could fall into a recession. that's been widely reported. the congressional budget office forecasts a drop of .5% in the real gross domestic product and a 9.1% unemployment rate by the end of next year. markets in the u.s. and around the world could take a hit. right now the dow is down almost 100 points. no santa clauz rally this year. managing director of the boston consulting group joins me from chicago. great to see you. happy holidays. let's talk about the effect on the economy. i think it's important to po
are the top stories this hour. right now, congress scrambling to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff before tuesday's deadline president the senate and house are convening while senate negotiators work at a plan to prevent massive spending cuts and tax hikes from kicking in january 1st. president obama appeared today on nbc's "meet the press" and said the cuts in spending need to be fairly distributed. >> what i'm not willing to do is to have the entire burden of deficit reduction rest on the shoulders of seniors making students pay a higher student loan rates, ruining our capacity to invest in things like basic research that help our economy grow. >> in news overseas the bodies of the dead are being carried away in syria today. at least 397 people were killed saturday. that is the deadliest day so far in the 21-month long civil war. another 52 died today. the joint u.n. arab league envoy said the situation is rapidly deteriorating but that a solution is still possible. >>> in massachusetts boston's mayor lifted a snow emergency a little earlier today. more than a foot of snow fell on sever
that is infectious. he knows his money wouldn't avert the fiscal cliff. but that is not the message garcia is sending to congress. >> in order to really solve the $16 trillion national debt, you have to sacrifice. >> reporter: politicians talk about kicking the can down the road. one american that is decided that road has to end. and it might as well be here. kyung lah, cnn, san antonio, texas. >>> you have to love that story. and a lot of us lived this one, the wild ride to election day, 2012. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta has more on the story. >> reporter: the year started off with a surprise in a sweater vest. counting down the top campaign stories of the year at number ten, the primaries. rick santorum's stunning performance in the iowa caucuses. >> game on. >> reporter: kicked off a battle for the republican nomination that few in washington had expected. the gop's odds on favorite, mitt romney, stumbled in some of the early contests. >> i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> reporter: he refused to release his tax returns, allowing another rival, new
, president obama will not send legislation to congress today that might avert the so-called fiscal cliff. the president pulled the plug on his holiday trip to hawaii and arrived in washington shortly after 11:00 in hopes of prodding congress to lock in taxes for all but the wealthiest 2%. so a republican source told us he would be sending legislation to capitol hill, but the white house is telling us no, that is not the case. you have the president there at the white house. you have the senate in session and they are scattered throughout the country and taxes are going up on january 1st. let's listen to harry reid. he is not happy about the house and being away. he is the top senate democrat. >> we are here in washington working. we have the house of representatives out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> here's a reality. reid said it's beginning to look to him as though we will plunge over the cliff come tuesday. they are keeping an eye on washington to see what develops. since it looks as though we a
relating to the fiscal cliff is dana bash. she joins me now from washington. dana, great to see you again. tell me does even a band-aid approach work? >> it's going to be tough. this is all math. but it really has to do with the math with regard to votes. and democrats especially who i'm talking to in the senate which is probably where this will originate, the reality is that democrats don't hold a very big majority. her going to need to have a handful of republicans to cross party lines and vote with them on the whole concept of raising any taxes. especially what the president wants which is something that is raising taxes on all americans making more than $250,000. that's the senate. never mind the house, which of course, made clear to the house speaker that they won't even go for something that's a million dollars or more when it comes to tax increases. that was last week. >> dana, you were saying that when you were reporting on it when it was breaking that evening, you called that devastating for john boehner. now that house republicans have clearly rebelled against john boehner, can
awaiting the results of fiscal cliff negotiations in washington. u.s. stock futures pretty flat this morning indicating that markets will open little change today. stocks could take a big hit next week if congress does not make a decision in time. that, of course, adding to concerns, treasury secretary geithner also warned congress in a letter yesterday that we will reach the nation's debt ceiling on monday. that's when the government reaches its legal borrowing limit. treasury can delay a debt crisis for a couple of weeks until february or march using emergency measures to keep the government operating until congress acts to fix this problem, too. >>> big news from toyota. they are announcing a record $1.1 billion settlement over that unintended accelerator issue which they say does not exist. toyota has always said it's been floor malts, stuck gas pedals and operator error but they're going to settle these cases to put it behind them. the bulk of the money will go to its customers past and present. they will install brake override systems for all vehicles identified by toyota
does not reach the agreement on the fiscal cliff. right now there are still negotiations that are going on. they are being led by the vice president, vice president biden and senator minority leader mitch mcconnell. sources say that they are making some progress, but even if a deal is reached, no guarantee it's going to pass. listen to what one democratic senator, tom harkin, said on on the senate floor just earlier this morning. >> if we're going to have some kind of a deal, the deal must be one that really does favor the middle class, the real middle class, those making 30, 50, 60, $7,000 a year. that's the real middle class in america. as i see this thing developing, quite frankly as i've said before no deal is better than a bad deal, and this looks like a very bad deal the way it's shaping up. >> we want to bring in dana bash on capitol hill. when you think about it, both sides are not happy with what's taking place, at least what they're talking about. i know you have some new information on at least what the republicans are suggesting when it comes to those massive spending cuts,
, various tax breaks slipping away. in other words what we're calling the fiscal cliff. a plan to stop it all from happening still alludes washington, so congress has broken camp for the holidays and the president has gone to holiday on vacation. brianna keilar is out there for us in honolulu, eight days away from the fiscal cliff. are there any contacts occurring on this topic between the president and anyone in congress, briana? >> reporter: there is an open line of communication, i would say, with senate democrats, hala. but there is really no substantive conversations between the folks that you with need for there to be conversations between in order to strike a deal. the white house and congressional republicans, and perhaps more alarmingly, senate democrats are not in conversations right now with senate republicans or with house republicans. and this is problematic obviously because in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, you would need to find some sort of deal that would make it through the senate and the house and that would need democratic and republican support. now, all eyes on
to avoid the fiscal cliff. it is unclear if any can get enough votes to pass conference. -- congress. president obama says he's optimistic a compromise can be found. >>> across india today, a nationwide protest took a new heartbreaking direction. people across the country were already out in angry droves calling for justice in the wake of a brutal gang rape. then word today began to spread that the victim died in the hospital. a 23-year-old woman. six men were already held on rape charges. now they're charged with murder. >>> chuck hagel's name has been floated as president obama's potential choice for the next defense secretary. but some don't want to see the former republican senator and vietnam war vet get the position. some from his own party. this ad is in "the new york times" right here. and it says, hagel is wrong on gay rights, wrong on iran, wrong on israel. and the ad was placed by the law of cabin republicans, a group that represents gay republicans. clarke cooper is executive director. thanks for joining me, clarke. here's that ad. this ad speaks volumes. wouldn't your pa
republican support for any bill that might pass congress to avert the fiscal cliff. >> brianna keilar reporting live from hawaii this morning. >>> checking our top stories before heading back to d.c. to try to head off the physical -- the fiscal cliff. you know what i'm saying. the president and first lady michelle obama visited marines and thanked them for their service. >> the greatest honor i have as president is being commander in chief and the reason it's an honor is because not only do we have the finest military in the world but we also have the finest fighting men and women in the world. >> mrs. obama and the girls won't cut short their vacation. they're staying on in hawaii. >>> former braves great andruw jones free on a bond in atlanta on a battery charge. there was a domestic dispute between he and his wife. the center fielder played with the new york yankees last year and recently signed with a team in japan. >>> the city of los angeles is holding its annual gun buyback today, several months ahead of schedule. the buyback program allows anyone to bring in guns and rifles i
ready to do a thelma and louise and plunge over the fiscal cliff? some lawmakers sounded gloomy about any chances for a compromise deal. >> passing pln b would not have changed the outcome. we would have gone over the cliff before, we will go over the cliff now because it's what the president wants. you can't negotiate with someone who does not want to negotiate. >> in the aftermath of the house republicans rejecting speaker boehner aers so-called plan "b," it's the first time i feel like we will more likely go over the cliff than not, and if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> nine days remain to get a deal done. lawmakers are home for the holidays. house speaker boehner is in ohio. president obama as reported is in his native hawaii. before leaving washington, president obama urged congress to pass a mini plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. brianna keilar joins us live from hawaii. what do we think will happen as the holiday week rolls out? >> reporte
on the fiscal cliff deadline on december 31st. retiring senator joe lieberman puts the potential failure in historic perspective. >> i feel it's more likely we will go over the cliff than not, and if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal, consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military, which democrats have been calling for for years, and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> so, hey, merry christmas. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president in honolulu. brianna, are the white house and republicans even talking? >> reporter: no. they're not, carol. there's no substantive discussions going on between the white house and senate democrats and senate republicans and house republicans. and this is key because in order for the cliff
of the fiscal cliff with just 36 days to go until tax increases kick, in the white house and congress are playing a high stakes game of let's make a deal. >> only in america believes there has to be this what i believe to be really farce ical now surely -- the nature of the world is very fast moving, america has huge economic problems, heading for another fiscal cliff, everyone laughing at you from afenway park the american public sick and tired of all the games going on and there are you, grover norquist, a very bright guy still resolutely saying a pledge is a pledge is a pledge, it cannot be broken when many of your own party are now saying you know, what it doesn't make sense to have this irresolute position anymore. >> two things, the pledge is not for life. but everybody who signed the pledge, including peter king, who tried to weasel out of it -- shame on him as the "new york sun" says tonight. i hope his wife understands commitments last a little longer than two years or something. >> whoa, hang on, hang on. that was a bit below the belt, grover. >> hey, if you think a commitme
and vote on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. in his first sunday talk show appearance in three years, president obama today called for congress to at least extend middle class tax cuts and unemployment benefits if no fiscal deal is reached. tax hike increase take effect january 1st. >>> the situation in the war-torn country is getting worse by the day. this weekend is proving him right. opposition activists say at least 397 people were killed across syria yesterday alone. if true, the deadliest day yet in almost two years in the civil war. the opizatiposition says more t 200 killed following a battle. >>> new england is getting a heavy dose of snow and freezing temperatures. boston is expected to get up to eight inches and the city's mayor has declared a snow emergency. neighboring rhode island is also getting pounded over a foot of snow has already fallen in some parts of that state. >>> some good news this morning about former president george h.w. bush. we're told he is improving and has been moved out of the intensive care unit of the houston hospital where he was being treated f
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